Management of Hyperleukocytosis in Childhood Acute Leukemia without Leukapheresis and Rasburicase Prophylaxis

Aylan Gelen S. , Sarper N. , Zengin E. , Azizoğlu M.

Journal of Pediatric Hematology/Oncology, 2021 (Journal Indexed in SCI Expanded) identifier identifier

  • Publication Type: Article / Article
  • Volume:
  • Publication Date: 2021
  • Doi Number: 10.1097/mph.0000000000002225
  • Title of Journal : Journal of Pediatric Hematology/Oncology
  • Keywords: acute leukemia, childhood, hyperleukocytosis, leukapheresis, rasburicase


© 2021 Thieme Medical Publishers, Inc.. All rights reserved.Indications of leukapheresis (LPh) and the prophylactic use of rasburicase in tumor lysis syndrome (TLS) of patients with acute leukemia with hyperleukocytosis are not clear. In this retrospective single-center pediatric study, the outcomes of patients with hyperleukocytosis were reviewed. There were 48 patients with acute lymphoblastic leukemia (ALL) and 13 patients with acute myeloblastic leukemia (AML). The treatment strategies included hyperhydration, allopurinol administration, strict monitoring, and early initiation of induction chemotherapy (CT). No patient underwent LPh because it was not available. Rasburicase was used only in 3 ALL patients with hyperuricemia when the drug was available. Laboratory and clinical TLS developed in 54.16% and 14.58% of patients with ALL, respectively. Laboratory and clinical TLS developed in 76.92% and 15.38% of patients with AML, respectively. No patient developed grade III to V TLS requiring dialysis. Thirteen patients (21.3%) had pulmonary leukostasis on admission, but recovered with CT and nasal oxygen. During the first 14 days of presentation, cerebral leukostasis/coagulopathy-related early death (ED) was 4.2% and 7.7% in patients with ALL and AML, respectively, and all of these patients had a white blood cell count ≥400,000/µL. There was also 1 infection-related death. Patients with hyperleukocytosis can be treated without LPh and liberal use of rasburicase. Renal failure is no longer a cause of ED. Intracranial hemorrhage is the main cause of ED, especially in patients already presenting with this complication. LPh may be performed in patients with leukostasis, if it is not possible to start induction CT early. When resources are limited, rasburicase should be administered in patients presenting with or developing hyperuricemia and/or renal dysfunction.